Friday, August 29, 2014

Ace Atkin's Carolina book tour swing--

Writer Ace Atkins stopped in Charlotte on an author tour on Wednesday and I was able to speak to him briefly and listened as he shared a few stories of his travels.  Atkins is the author of the Quinn Colson series which follows the work of a new sheriff in northern Mississippi.  He also writes the new adventures of Robert B. Parker's Spenser with three in print to date.  Parker died in 2010.

I told Atkins about my book club at the library and that we had read his second book of the Quinn Colson series The Lost Ones months ago (February of this year to be exact) and enjoyed it.  I wish had remembered to add that I would have suggested the book club read the first book of the series The Ranger--but the library system owned more copies of the second book.

Another comment I would have shared with the writer was that his book did bring us stateside for a story--and in the Souh specifically--after reading a number of books in England and elsewhere.
(I'm standing next to Ace Atkins during his visit to an independent
bookstore in Charlotte.  Our hands are resting on copies of his newest
"Quinn Colson" book The Forstaken which he was signing.)

I caught the tail end of the visit when the  discussion veered to talking "The Rockford Files" TV series starring James Garner.  Atkins was able to see some scenes filmed for one of the TV movies based on the series and also on a separate occasion got into a lengthy discussion with show creator (and novelist too) Stephen J. Cannell.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Library display entitled
"Summertime decisions"
(photo by blogger)
I have a new display up in my library's mystery section to promote that it is summertime now and for those into summer reading--now is the time to load up.  And I see it in action at work with some readers. Some walk out the building needing a clothe grocery bag for each arm. While some at least make a valiant effort to grab that one book that gets read during the year.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is well-underway with its annual summer reading program which is growing with activities and desirable gifts and incentives.  Whether getting a fine waiver card (from $5 to $10) or getting in the drawing for a new tablet, taking time to read has its benefits.  All age groups are included and the library is very wise to engage an interested public in reading.      

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The World Map Has a Mystery to be Found--

Over the years, the mystery novels the book club had selected and read have jumped around the world with busy detectives--whether employed by law enforcement agencies or not--and amoral criminals.  From Beijing in China (Peter May's The Firemaker) to Ghana in Africa (Kwei Quaterey's The Wife of the Gods), the world is crowded with too many resorting to murder.  In our regular meeting space, we have but to look up at the wall on the right to see a nicely-detailed world map that on occasion helps to find where in the world the novel is set.  Granted, most mysteries are stateside or in Great Britain but we are not restricted with these spots with our monthly book club selections.

Take for instance Colin Cotterill's Killed at the Whim of a Hat in Thailand and Anne Holt's 1222: a Hanne Wilhelmsen novel in Norway which were scheduled a year apart.  These stories are set in very different environments and the settings shape the tone of the novels.  Cotterill looks for humor in human interactions while Holt's tale is somber in the cold environment. 
It is ever bit of an adventure to read a good international mystery explore the world from comfortable chair or couch.  And when desired it is helpful to find this certain locale on the world map. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is celebrating its 2014 community read week event with Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.  Various events are scheduled as everyone is encouraged to read--as possibly discuss at a scheduled library program--the classic science fiction title.  Click here for the events at area libraries and elsewhere. 

I had considered looking at the book for the mystery book club--as library book clubs were encouraged-- but our April date was set.  And the book is far from a standard mystery story so I don't want to buck our book club orientation.  All the same, this American classic fiction book is one worthy of reading, discussing and thought.

Monday, September 30, 2013

New Touch in Promoting New Books--

My library has had a much appreciated new fiction book section where a stand-alone bookshelf housed the new books, identified by its yellow dot stickers with a date marked on them.  Convenient, it was close to the circulation desk in the front of the building.  A reasonable set-up--this was the arrangement for years until several weeks ago.    

First the books were moved across the floor to into a corner lining the wall.  They are no longer close to the circulation desk.

(Photo by blogger)
Second the revamped display appeared with some new fiction books now separated by genre.  As you can see on the photograph above the new mystery books are now on their own shelf with a modest-looking black "MYSTERY" label to identify the shelf for the library user.  And since I work in a different library department, this change was unexpected for me.

In the previous location all fiction books were interfiled although a small sticker on the bottom identifying some by genre.  Today, certain books are filed together as "mystery," "science fiction" and so forth.  I like it. I'm satisfied about the ease for the casual book browser--including me--to quickly find a "new" library mystery book.     

Monday, September 09, 2013

Murder mystery at the library--

(Photo by blogger)

It seems to me that its been a while since my library did the ole book display with an outlined body on the floor to direct library users to mystery novels.  (And what better way is there to denote the murder scene than with an outlined body on the floor with if exact position at death, huh?)

Well, that idea has resurfaced as a special "staff picks" book shelf now has that display as shown to the left.  And a knife is included in this display to the far right (my photo was taken to just include the body outline)--the murder weapon?

My co-workers picked mysteries with a lighter--and sometimes comedic--flare in books by Joann Fluke, Charlaine Harris and Bill Crider.  Death is death so why enjoy a smile when reading about the evil-doing that would sicken us otherwise.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Elmore Leonard dies at 87--

A great figure in the crime fiction genre has died earlier this week in writer Elmore Leonard.  

A monster talent with success in writing for novels and some even later adapted in movies (I read he thought "Get Shorty" was one of the best efforts of transferring his novel to the big screen) and television (I'm a steady viewer of "Justified"), Leonard enjoyed a long writing career.  

Elmore Leonard
(photo from Google)
From the library's catalog under his "Raylan" book is the Author & Notes Sketches entry which reads: Elmore John Leonard, Jr., popularly known as mystery and western writer Elmore Leonard, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 11, 1925. He served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1946. He received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Detroit in 1950. After graduating, he wrote short stories and western novels as well as advertising and education film scripts. In 1967, he began to write full-time and received several awards including the 1977 Western Writers of America award and the 1984 Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe award. His other works include 
Get  Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, 3:10 to Yuma, and Rum Punch. Many of his works were adapted into movies. He successfully conquered alcoholism in the 1970s; details of his struggle with the bottle appear in author Dennis Wholey's 1986 book The Courage to Change. His title Raylan made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2012. Library of America recently announced plans to publish the first of a three-volume collection of his books beginning in the Fall of 2014. Leonard died on August 20, 2013 from complications of a stroke he had earlier. He was 87 years old. (Bowker Author Biography)

For a list of the library's holdings for Leonard (including novels, books on CD, movies, etc.), click here.